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Defining Disability

A disabled person is defined in the Equality Act 2010 as someone with "A physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities". Long term means likely to last for at least 12 months.

Normal day-to-day activities include mobility, manual dexterity, physical co-ordination, continence, ability to lift, carry and move everyday objects, speech, hearing, eyesight, memory or ability to concentrate, learn or understand, perception of risk or physical danger. This is not an exhaustive list and UCL is committed to helping all staff with a disability, impairment or long-term condition. Progressive conditions such as HIV/AIDS, Cancer and Multiple Sclerosis are covered from the point of diagnosis, regardless of the symptoms.

Employers are required to make reasonable adjustments to physical features of premises and arrangements for employing disabled people.

The definition of disabled does not include people who wear spectacles or contact lenses.

What is a Reasonable Adjustment

It might be any action that helps to alleviate a substantial disadvantage. Factors to be weighed up in determining reasonableness are:

Examples of reasonable adjustments which should be considered are:

Advice on what type of adjustments would make a significant difference should be sought from UCL's Occupational Health Service (OHS), in consultation with the disabled employee. It is for the manager to then decide in consultation with the HR Consultancy Team, whether the adjustments recommended by the OHS are reasonable to implement within that particular workplace and if not, whether there is an alternative role within the department or UCL. HR will gather expertise on reasonable adjustments and advise managers accordingly.



Last updated: 12th February 2015